Four New Reviews

 Posted by on 20 September 2002 at 9:08 pm  Uncategorized
Sep 202002

In addition to some site rearrangement, I’ve added a four new reviews, reprinted below:

The Prime Movers: Traits of the Great Wealth Creators by Edwin Locke

Ed Locke’s The Prime Movers is a fairly detailed and empirical analysis of the traits common to great business leaders. Using businessmen (and women) of the past and present as both positive and negative examples throughout, Locke makes an excellent case that traits such as independent vision, a relentlessly active mind, egoistic passion for work, and love of ability in others are essential for great success in business. (Locke then breaks down each of these traits into subcomponent traits, discussing each in turn.) Despite some painfully Objectivist bits, this book was an inspiring and informative look into what makes the movers and shakers of the economy so successful.

God and Mankind: Comparative Religions by Robert Oden

In these eight lectures, Robert Oden tackled some of the more interesting questions of religion, such as the problem of evil and religious heroes. His lectures were clear, well-structured, well-grounded in the literature, and always-interesting, in spite of his somewhat aggravating habit of often foreshadowing the lecture. Lecture Seven on “Religious Rituals and Communities” should be of particular interest to Objectivists, as his discussions of churches versus sects, the Puritan idea of a “calling,” and the American antipathy towards ritual all bear upon debates in the Objectivist community.

The Truth About Lying by Stan Walters

Stan Walters may not be the most polished writer, but he has written a clear and interesting practical manual for detecting deception. Walters persuasively argues that there are no simple indicators of deception (like looking down and to the left). Rather in order to detect deception, we must meticulously and repeatedly compare a person’s normal behavior with their behavior in response to a given issue, looking for the stress responses that may signal deception. (He discusses the details of those stress responses at great length.) Reading this book almost made me wish for a habitual liar in my life so that I could test and practice the myriad of techniques for detecting deception myself!

The Shadow University: The Betrayal of Liberty of America’s Campuses by Alan Kors and Harvey Silvergate

While I frequently find myself engrossed in a good novel, rarely do I get so lost in a work of non-fiction. But I was delighted to find myself so entranced with The Shadow University that I read the hefty book cover to cover in a single day. The book went far beyond the usual horror stories to in-depth discussions of the philosophical, legal, institutional conflicts over free speech on campus. Perhaps even more disturbing than restrictions of free speech were the accounts of the (often-secret) kangaroo courts run by the universities in which students are too-often hung out to dry. A better book on the battle for free speech on campus could not be written. (Proving that sunlight is indeed the best disinfectant, Kors and Silvergate have continued to press for free speech on campus through their remarkably effective Foundation for Individual Rights in Education.)

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